In the last two months, eight children have died in water-related accidents in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, American Red Cross, and Illinois Association of Park Districts are reminding everyone of how long it takes – really, how short it takes – for a child to disappear in the water: Two seconds. The experts recommend constant supervision of children by parents, and enrolling the children in swimming lessons.
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“More than 50 percent of all Americans can’t swim,” said Rick Wright, a Red Cross water safety instructor. “Then, when it comes to parents, parents always think their kids can swim better than they can.” In most or all cases, DCFS says, the deaths are preventable.